The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #126922   Message #2824893
Posted By: Jerry Rasmussen
29-Jan-10 - 04:13 PM
Thread Name: First and Last Lines
Subject: First and Last Lines
Whether writing a song, short story, novel, play or screen play, the first and last lines have a special importance. The same is true if you are a reader or viewer.

Some examples of first lines immediately come to mind, the most humorous being "It was a dark and stormy night," by that great American author, Snoopy Brown. I used that line to start a writing once, adding. "Really." I couldn't resist. The first lines of Genesis comes booming off the pages: "In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth." First lines need to get your attention to draw you in and make you want to read or hear more. They set the scene for what is to come.

Last lines can stick in your mind and remain there forever. A classic last line from a movie is from Now Voyager: "Don't let us ask for the moon, we have the stars." Just as first lines can set the stage, last lines can sum up the whole story in one memorable image. The last line of a very long song I wrote about the founding of a small town in Wisconsin seemed just right when it came to me: "If you're worth your salt you'll hold on to your dreams. They're still the best measure of man."

I'm sure that more will come to mind. I'd like to hear yours, whether you are a writer and feel particularly pleased with a first or last line you've written or just an appreciator as I am 95% of the time. It might be interesting to pull a favorite book off the shelf and look at the first and last lines. I'll do that, myself.
It should be interesting.